Mikel Arteta is certain to be missing five Arsenal players against Manchester United.
Mikel Arteta may have already hinted at the decisions he would make when picking his Arsenal matchday team for the Premier League match against Manchester United.
Arsenal have completed their first signing of the January transfer window, which will force Mikel Arteta to make a major choice against Manchester United.
Leandro Trossard completed a £21 million deal from Brighton & Hove Albion on Friday afternoon. Furthermore, with the Gunners confirming paperwork have been filed to satisfy the registration deadline, there is hope he will be eligible for selection this weekend.
And the 28-year-old has been tipped to make an instant impact for Arsenal by his new manager: “We are really happy to have him. He’s a player we have followed for a while now. The opportunity came – we had the necessity to have a player in the frontline who is versatile enough to play in different positions,” Arteta said in his pre-match press conference.
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“He knows the league, he has enough experience here and I think he can have an immediate impact on the team. We have to think short-term, but medium and long-term as well. He gives us all of that. He’s a very intelligent player. When you look at his career and what he’s done in the last few years, he’s a player that fits our way of playing.”
With the signing of Trossard, Arsenal now has 25 senior Arsenal players listed on the club’s official website, with the majority of them in contention to face the Red Devils. The Belgian international is unlikely to start, but if he is cleared to play, he will almost certainly be among the substitutes.
With Sunday’s game being the Gunners’ final Premier League encounter of the month, Arteta is allowed to choose a 20-man matchday squad for the visit of Manchester United, and there are five first-team players he must either leave on the bench or at home.
Granted, those picks are rather obvious, with Gabriel Jesus and Reiss Nelson still out due to injuries, and Matt Turner likely to receive the nod over Karl Heinz as the backup goalkeeping option for Aaron Ramsdale.
Cedric Soares’ recent absence is due to an ailment, as he is rehabilitating from a muscular condition. However, as reported by football.london, discussions with Fulham over a loan move for the rest of the season are underway, so he may not be involved regardless of whether he’s healthy or not.
Meanwhile, Arsenal continues to evaluate Mohamed Elneny. The Egyptian was missing from the side that defeated Tottenham in the North London Derby last Sunday due to a knee injury sustained in training, and Matt Smith will be on standby once more.
It should be pointed out that if Arteta opts to name a midfielder in his squad – whether that be Elneny or Smith – Trossard’s inclusion could come at the expense of a forward. Having played just one minute of Premier League football so far this season, £3m summer signing Marquinhos is perhaps most at risk of dropping out altogether.